What kind of IT support system does your small business have? Many businesses have one “go-to” person in their office to help with IT issues. Others may have a local company they can call when they run into major problems.
While these “on-demand” types of options may be enough to get by at certain times, working with an information technology managed services provider to handle your IT support can help reduce business inefficiencies and take your company to the next level. Let’s take a look at some of the technology problems a managemed services provider can help with:
1. A Down Server
What would happen if your server went down? What is the financial impact this would have on your businesses for every hour you’re offline? Most businesses can ill afford to have longer periods of downtime. Working with an IT consulting company means that you will have someone who has an intimate knowledge of your IT infrastructure and will have the necessary means in place to rebuild your system. The best companies will have a system in place that allows for recovery much faster, resulting in less lost revenue for your organization.
2. Loss of Critical Data
How complete are your backups? Are they being monitored to ensure proper functionality? In case of an unforeseen major issue, maintaining proper backups of data is vital to make sure your business can still continue to function. A technology consulting company will likely offer you proactive monitoring services of your backups as well as your IT system as a whole, hopefully catching problems before they turn into major issues.
3. Outdated Software and Hardware
Your business may be lagging behind due to outdated applications or hardware that is not helping you run as efficiently as possible. A team of experts with multiple resources at your disposal is your best bet for recommendations and advice when it comes to upgrading your infrastructure. Updating software and hardware can sometimes require extensive planning to ensure your upgrades keep you compatible with the needs of your customers as well as any third party vendors.
4. IT (In)security
How do you know if you are vulnerable to the latest cyber infection or threat that is being talked about on every news channel? What about the ones you don’t hear about? IT security is a necessary consideration and should be handled proactively more than reactively to help keep your data and systems secure. But it is no longer just about keeping data secure. Many of your customers are concerned about your IT security practices; without a comprehensive, proactive approach, existing customers may leave and prospective customers may choose the IT security conscious competition. Rather than just having IT support that reacts to your problems, your company should be receiving guidance on how technology can help you grow and continue to maintain the security and integrity of your IT systems. This is where a managed service provider can truly provide value.
5. You might backup your data, but do you backup your personnel?
Who has the “keys” to your IT system? Is there just one person in charge of your entire infrastructure? What would you do if he or she abruptly left your company, had an emergency or even hit the lottery? Does your IT person have expertise on everything that is tech and is he or she keeping up to data on the latest emerging technology? An IT managed service provider can work hand in hand with existing staff to ensure there is backup available to assist when needed. This is not only succession planning; an appropriate firm can provide consulting and guidance so important IT decisions are made with help of experts of the specific need. Think about Peyton Manning being your quarterback and having Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino and Roger Staubach in their primes providing advice,and being able to step in when necessary.
6, An Unpredictable Technology Budget
Having a consulting company manage your IT services—typically on a monthly plan—gives your business some cost certainty and the ability to have a predictable IT budget. Most plans will offer unlimited support for a fixed rate, and proactive monitoring should help you plan well in advance for any major hardware upgrades. Wouldn’t it be better to know you need a $4,000 server upgrade six months from now rather than finding out after your server is down and you need to spend $4,000 ASAP to keep your business running?
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